Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has explained that it asked the Cabinet of Ministers for assistance because of the difficult situation in the Ukrainian aviation industry. The carrier is the largest player on the market, and it cannot but feel the negative impact of the political and economic situation in the country.

According to the official explanation from the press service of the UIA, the company has proposed a number of anti-crisis measures that can help to maintain the viability of the industry as a whole and the UIA in particular. The press service of the airline did not specify the amount of support that the airline requested, but a CFTS source earlier said that it requested USD 100 million, which could be provided in the form of a stabilization loan.

The UIA describes the situation on the air transport market as unprecedented in the history of Ukraine: for example, the market decline by more than 27% in August compared with the same period of last year.

"The Donetsk and Lugansk international airports have been closed completely and taken out of operation. Ukrainian carriers have lost access to the Crimean market, which traditionally provided powerful domestic and international passenger traffic. They are also prohibited from flying through the Crimean airspace, the flights of aircraft over eastern Ukraine have been restricted, and the possibility of performing flights to eastern destinations on direct routes through the airspace of the Russian Federation has been ruled out. Passenger traffic between Ukraine and Russia has reduced dramatically," said the UIA.

The situation is complicated further by the 60% devaluation of the national currency (the hryvnia did not devalue to this extent even during the period of 2008-2009, when the global economic crisis flared up). As a result, the purchasing power of Ukrainian citizens has reduced, which has led to a reduction in the purchase of tickets for international flights.

In addition, according to the UIA, the governments of many countries are "strongly recommending that their citizens not travel to Ukraine while foreign airlines and ticketing agencies are striving to reduce the volume of transit through Ukrainian airports to a minimum." Thus, many foreign airlines have significantly reduced the number of flights or completely stopped flights to and through Ukraine, as a result of which Ukrainian airports and the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE) have incurred losses.

The UIA says that it retains its own network of domestic and international flights, continues to generate transit passenger traffic through Ukraine, and has cut only an insignificant number of its routes within Ukraine and to Russia.

The carrier says it does not want to reduce its presence in foreign markets significantly. "It is obvious that if the route network collapses, its subsequent revival will take a long time and huge financial resources that greatly exceed the amount of credit financing and assistance that the leading Ukrainian carrier is currently requesting from the government to preserve the existing infrastructure," the press release states.

The UIA also stresses that any comparison and analogy to the bankruptcies of Ukrainian airlines several years ago are incorrect and completely unfounded.